Check it out: 3 waterspouts churn on Mobile Bay
Two of them appear to be nearly on top of each other
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Waterspouts aren’t a rare phenomenon in the United States. They happen more than you probably think over lakes, bays, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean.
What is a little rarer, although not uncommon, is for multiple waterspouts to occur simultaneously.
That happened Monday morning over Mobile Bay, and it was caught on camera. The tweet below shows three simultaneous waterspouts.
There were other photos posted to social media of the waterspout triplets on Mobile Bay. You can see two of them appear to be right next to each other, while the third is a way to the right.
What also stands out is the fact that the sun is shining in the video. There are some darker and lower clouds that the waterspouts are connected to, but the sun is out at the same time.
This is possible because these are referred to as fair-weather waterspouts, a type of waterspout that can occur without thunderstorms or severe weather.
According to the National Weather Service, these types of waterspouts are pretty common from late spring through early fall over the near-shore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. They form during fair and relatively calm conditions, typically during the morning and late afternoon hours.
Just like in the video above, fair-weather waterspouts usually develop along with dark, flat bases of lines of developing cumulus clouds. These cumulus clouds can grow into showers and non-severe thunderstorms as they mature. A waterspout can remain in contact with the cloud and water while the clouds grow into showers.
These types of waterspouts are usually weak, not very large, and dissipate quickly if they move inland. However, they can cause minor damage and injuries to people if they move ashore, which is why the National Weather Service still issues a tornado warning if this happens.
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